Description[Slavery]. Seven Civil War-dated Documents related to the deaths of slaves impressed into labor on fortifications near Charleston, South Carolina, for the Confederacy. These documents, all dated between 1862 and 1864, show the complexities involved when slave labor was rented or leased from slaveowners and placed under the supervision of Confederate military officers. Documents such as these-concerning the deaths of slaves while in the service of the Confederacy-are scarce.
Included are two partly-printed documents issued by the South Carolina state auditor for claims made by slave owners. The first concerns Orangeburg District November 27, 1863, "for a slave lost in the public service." One thousand dollars is awarded to J. C. Edwards, the owner of a slave named Joe "who was impressed on the fifth day May 1862, by the Executive Council acting under the authority of the State of South Carolina, to work for one month, on the military fortifications then being constructed by the Confederate Government at or near Charleston." Joe is described as a "young, likely and healthy boy" valued at $1,000 upon his impressment. While working for the Confederate Government, he contracted "Pneumonia, was taken home sick, and there attended by Dr. Robt Bates until his death." He died June 20, 1862. Separation starting along some folds. Docketing on verso. The other is an auditor's warrant from Columbia dated 1864 allowing $2,500 be paid for slaveholder Edward Kinsley's claim "for compensation for a slave lot, by reason of the employment of the said slave by the Confederate authorities upon the military fortifications."
Also included is an "Original Receipt" dated February 1, 1864, issued by the General Assembly of the state of South Carolina for $1,200 received from George C. James for money advanced to him for "compensation for his slave named Adam, lost by reason of the employment of the said slave by the authorities of the Confederate Government upon the military fortifications in this State." (On the same page is a duplicate receipt.)
The fourth document is a slaveholder's four-page application "for compensation for slave lost in the public service" of the Confederacy. Joseph Cunningham's male slave Joe, twenty-eight-years-old, who was impressed in December 1862 "by the Commissioners of Roads" for Lancaster District "to work for one month on the military fortifications then being constructed by the Confederate Government, in the vicinity of the city of Charleston" was "stout and valuable." After twenty-one days, he contracted pneumonia. He was valued at $2,000.
The final three documents include a Marion District court document dated November 1862 regarding the death of a slave from typhoid while working "on fortifications near Charleston"; a sheet, blank except for docketing that reads, "No. 3 Petition of James R. B[. . . illegible] praying compensation for a Slave who died while employed on the Fortifications near Charleston"; and a receipt dated February 1864 "for the amount allowed him for his negro." All documents are toned with minor stains; some bear separations starting at folds.
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